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Wed, Jun 01, 2016

California Lawmakers Revive Statewide UAV Ban Legislation

Measure Approved By The State Senate Public Safety Committee

A California legislator has revived her efforts to put some kind of statewide ban on UAVs despite the objections of the industry and many users.

The California State Senate Public Safety Committee last week approved a bill introduced by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) that would ban the flight of remotely piloted aircraft near airports and "critical infrastructure" in the state. During the hearing, Sen. Jackson said that the state "must develop some kind of approach to addressing this very exciting, but also very dangerous technology," according to a report appearing on the website Techwire.net.

Jackson sponsored similar legislation last year, but it was vetoed by CA Governor Jerry Brown. That law, which did pass the full legislature, would have banned all UAV flights over private property. In vetoing the bill, Brown said that the law would have exposed UAV users to "burdensome litigation and new causes of action."

The measure which passed the committee last week would ban UAV flight within 1000 feet of a heliport or five miles of an airport unless expressly permitted to do so. It would also prevent UAVs from flying within 500 feet of infrastructure such as bridges, power plants, hospitals, water facilities and oil refineries.

Critics say that the FAA has jurisdiction over the national airspace, and should be the rulemaking authority concerning UAVs. But Jackson said that "the FAA doesn't control everything, and the state has its responsibilities."

The law would carry fines of $250 to $1,000 or up to six months in jail.

(Image from file)

FMI: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB868

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